John James Kennedy was born in Liverpool, Lancashire, in on the 2nd August 1888, the son of Edward and Anne Kennedy. His father died in 1890, and his mother later re-married a Mr. Chandler. John was married to Catherine O’Leary in Liverpool on the 4th June 1910 and they lived at 8, Court, 8 House, Burlington Street, Kirkdale, Liverpool.
He engaged as a trimmer in the Engineering Department on board the Lusitania at Liverpool on 12th April 1915, and joined the vessel on the morning of 17th April, before she left the River Mersey for the final time. As a trimmer, his monthly wage amounted to £6-0s-0d.
He was killed three weeks later when the vessel was sunk and as body was never recovered from the sea and identified, he has no known grave and is commemorated on the Mercantile Marine Memorial at Tower Hill, London. He was aged 26 years.
In August 1915, the Cunard Steam Ship Company forwarded the balance of pay owing to John Kennedy in respect of his sea service on the
Lusitania to his widow. This was reckoned to be from 17th April 1915, the day the vessel had left Liverpool, until 8th May 1915, 24 hours after she had been sunk. In addition, The Liverpool and London War Risks Insurance Association Limited granted Catherine Kennedy a yearly pension to compensate her for the loss of her husband. This amounted to £13-0s-0d. (£13.00p.) which was payable at the rate of £1-1s-8d. (£1.08½p.) per month.
Register of Births, Marriages and Deaths, 1891 Census of England and Wales, 1901 Census of England and Wales, 1911 Census of England and Wales, Commonwealth War Graves Commission, Cunard Records, PRO BT 100/345, UniLiv. PR 13/24, PRO BT 334.